Sudan peace talks to resume in Kenya today

17 February 2004 (The Peninsula - Qatar)

Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha and rebel leader John Garang are due to resume peace talks in the Kenyan town of Naivasha today, the chief mediator said yesterday.

Taha and Garang, who heads the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), “will resume the fourth high-level consultations from February 17 through March 16,” Lazaro Sumbeiywo, a retired Kenyan general, said.

“The parties will be negotiating the remaining issues outstanding in the conflict, the (geographical) areas of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile as well as power-sharing,” said a statement issued by the mediating body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

Meanwhile, a Darfur students’ association yesterday urged the United Nations to launch an inquiry into what it called the “humanitarian disaster” unfolding in the troubled western region of Sudan.

“The humanitarian disaster goes on, with mass killings, ethnic cleansing operations, the burning of villages ... and arbitrary arrests,” the League of Darfur Students said in a statement.

The group said last week’s announcement by President Omar Al Beshir that the army had crushed a rebellion in Darfur represented “the height of hypocrisy and lies, given the intensification of the fighting there”.

“We call on the United Nations to send a commission of inquiry to shed light on these acts of genocide, and to guarantee that those responsible are brought to trial and given a fair hearing,” it said.